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  1. Spindle / steering bearing upgrade! 
    #1
    Well thanks to posts from others on the list, I decided to order two torrington bearings, four thrust washers and add real bearings in place of the OEM copper thrust washer on the bottom of the axle.

    The whole job took less than an hour, including the ordering of parts, removal of the old, clean-up and installation of the new. Before-after effort test time was not included for obvious reasons. I measured the "pull", or apparent steering effort with a fish scale on one of the steering wheel spokes and attempted to pull with a consistant effort at 90* to the spoke.

    Before:
    - With operator, stationary, Grass ~ 50#
    - With operator, stationary, Asphalt ~ 41#
    - With operator, moving, Asphalt ~ 30# (results were very inconsistant)
    - No operator, stationary, smooth concrete ~ 34#

    After:
    - With operator, stationary, Grass ~ 35#
    - With operator, stationary, Asphalt ~ 27#
    - With operator, moving, Asphalt ~ 12# (results were again very inconsistant)
    - No operator, stationary, smooth concrete ~ 28#

    As you can see from the test results, the bearings made a HUGE difference in steering effort, with a greater than 50% reduction in effort. Simple, inexpensive and WELL worthwhile, in my opinion.

    Parts: (McMaster-Carr)
    - Torrington bearings (2): 5909K33 = $5.94
    - 0.032" washer (4): 5909K46 = $4.40
    Total cost with S&H ~ $13.00, I received the parts 2 days after the order was placed!
    Last edited by JohnG; 06-16-2012 at 09:54 AM. Reason: added photos
    JohnG
    1973 E-12 (26AE12JA / DS02 020)
    Born 02 April 1973

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote - Benjamin Franklin

    I vote LIBERTY!
     
     

  2. Re: Spindle / steering bearing upgrade! 
    #2
    Senior Member behaines's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
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    Upstate NY, USA
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    Yeah, I just did my C185 and E10. For less then 20 dollars for all three tractors, it made a huge difference. Admittedly the E10m may steer a little TOO easily now, but the kids are going to mow with it, so I'm OK with that.
     
     

  3. Re: Spindle / steering bearing upgrade! 
    #3
    Senior Member
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    It really is like adding power steering. My 10 yr old daughter loves to drive the 150 now.
     
     

  4. Re: Spindle / steering bearing upgrade! 
    #4
    Senior Member FarmallMan's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    Schenectady, NY, USA
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    I'm glad you guys are running with this and having good luck. I ended up buying a package of square o-rings to help block out some dirt, but haven't had a chance to try them out yet. If anyone would like to, let me know...I've got about 100 of them and 4 spindles.

    Nick
     
     

  5. Re: Spindle / steering bearing upgrade! 
    #5
    Senior Member
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    I'll give them a try Nick.
     
     

  6. Re: Spindle / steering bearing upgrade! 
    #6
    Senior Member FarmallMan's Avatar
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    I think I still have your address somewhere Jeff, I'll drop a couple in an envelope. I'll shoot you an email if I can't find it.

    Nick
     
     

  7. Re: Spindle / steering bearing upgrade! 
    #7
    Senior Member
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    Thanks Nick !
     
     

  8. Re: Spindle / steering bearing upgrade! 
    #8
    Senior Member
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    Hey Nick - did you ever get the chance to send me those O rings?
     
     

  9. Re: Spindle / steering bearing upgrade! 
    #9
    I just tried ordering the washers and thrust bearings from McMaster-Carr. I live in Norway, so naturally I would like them shipped here. They even have a choice to ship outside the US on their online store. I'm very perplexed by their answer. It would seem they will not ship to me anywhere, since they are afraid the flat washers and bearings might eventually make it to the unfriendly, dangerous, frightful, feared, war mongering country of Norway.

    Here was the response:

    Hi Morten,

    Due to the complexity of U.S. export regulations, McMaster-Carr accepts international orders only from our established customers. This decision also applies to orders shipping within the United States, because it is based on the final destination of the items. We cannot accept this order or future orders.

    Claire



    -1970 (ish) Elec-Trak charged by a 200w solar array 99% of the time, gas free lawn care since 2007
    -1996 WV Golf Citystromer; 100% electric car
    -1998 WV Golf Citystromer; 100% electric car
    -1992 Chevrolet Blazer, EV conversion done in CA when new
     
     

  10. Re: Spindle / steering bearing upgrade! 
    #10
    Senior Member FarmallMan's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    Schenectady, NY, USA
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    Hi Morten,

    They're just roller thrust bearings. If you can find a local bearing distributor (or at least one in Norway), give them the bearing dimensions and they should be able to get you something comparable.

    Nick
     
     

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